The Bears and Raiders kick off in a few hours, but a new distraction emerged this morning — and it has nothing to do with what is happening between the lines.
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that he used disparaging language – including a “vulgar description” of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in emails that were sent stemming from feelings he was having during the 2011 NFL lockout. The new details emerging around emails Gruden sent as an ESPN employee come days after it was revealed Gruden used a racial trope in talking about NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. Going after two of the NFL’s most powerful people, as well asa other high-ranking NFL officials such as anonymous team owners around the league is equal parts bold and bothersome. The situation continues to get uglier with each update.
Gruden says he “was in a bad mind frame at the time” when this was going on in the midst of the 2011 NFL lockout. And while I understand a bad state of mind can rot everything around a person, there’s really no excuse to say what he said — particularly when it comes to the racist language used in talking about DeMaurice Smith. That more disparaging remarks about others are surfacing isn’t great either. And to think, this is all coming to light in the wake of the league’s investigation of workplace malpractice within the Washington Football Team’s organization. I wonder how much deeper this can go.
Nevertheless, Gruden is expected to be coaching the Raiders this afternoon. And as Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss points out, that’s a distraction in its own right:
Randy Moss on Jon Gruden using a racist trope in an email: pic.twitter.com/rWcHeB60is
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2021
"For us to be moving back and not forward … National Football League, this hurts me."
A powerful conversation from the Sunday NFL Countdown crew on Jon Gruden’s 2011 email that included a racist comment in reference to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith: pic.twitter.com/FQvMGFUfOj
— ESPN (@espn) October 10, 2021
That the NFL is considering disciplinary action underscores the situation’s seriousness. So I doubt this will be our last update on the situation.